Welcome back.

Before we left off in 2010, I summarized a number of changes that would define Accounting Today going forward. The way we see it, the accounting profession is inarguably evolving, and to keep pace with reader demands to reflect that evolution, so are we.

As most of you probably know by now, we've redesigned our Web site and rechristened it AccountingToday.com to better reflect our core brand. The enhanced portal showcases a new videos page with a larger screen, and expanded photos on the home page, as well as cleaner and more efficient navigation and comment capabilities on the stories. We've also added a slide show feature, and the Accounting Today Institute - our new CPE component.

Over time, we will be adding more social networking features, along with a benchmarking service for accountants and their business clients - the WebCPA Client Connection. The service, which will be powered by our partner iLumen, will allow accountants to be able to advise their business clients on how they are performing compared to similar businesses in their industry, and to recommend ways to improve their performance.

On the print side, Accounting Today will be skewed heavily toward best practices and building your firm's book of business, while the breaking news impacting the profession will be directed online.

Our 2011 editorial calendar kicks off the year with this, our tax issue, which includes a special tax season report. Further down, we'll delve into a number of other rising issues, such as the growing number of firms hiring business development managers, sustainability reporting, how to get closer to your small-business clients, and case studies on business intelligence and mobile computing, as well as how to determine if a client is risky, and what to do if they are.

Not to worry - the above-listed topics and overall online and print changes will not affect the traditional features you've come to expect from Accounting Today, such as our Top 100 Firms, Top 100 Most Influential, and the newer, but heavily anticipated ranking of Best Accounting Firms to Work For.

But enough about us. I imagine many of you are wondering what will impact the accounting profession (and your firms) in 2011, not the least of which is the ongoing uncertainty over tax legislation and the impact of the midterm elections and subsequent GOP landslide on key House and Senate committees.

When lawmakers return to the hill for the newly configured Congress this month, they may well be forced to debate the future of a number of tax laws, including possibly the Bush tax cuts and the estate tax, which the lame-duck Congress of December was still debating as we went to press.

Outside the Beltway, the profession is expecting an even heavier season of merger activity, a bold prediction considering the expansive slate of M&A deals in 2009 and 2010.

Despite the economic downturn, CPAs and firms have, for the most part, fared better than their clients during that bleak period, but January is a good time to take stock of their businesses and determine what they need in terms of human capital training and technology to keep competitive going forward.

Whatever transpires, we'll be here bringing the content that you need and have come to expect over the past 23 years.

That's one thing that won't change.

 

Bill Carlino

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